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Friday, 25 January 2013

GIVEAWAY: Eternally Yours Blog Tour

Today the Eternally Yours blog tour stops at The Bookette. 

I have a great giveaway to share with you. The lovely people at Hodder have given me two hardback copies of Cate Tiernan's new book (the final instalment of the Immortal Beloved trilogy) to give away.

Here is the book blurb:

'At the end of DARKNESS FALLS, the second Immortal Beloved novel, Nastasya has fought back against the dark immortals with her own brand of magick... but can she fight against true love? In the exhilarating finale to the Immortal Beloved trilogy, Nastasya ends a 450-year-old feud and learns what 'eternally yours' really means.
At the end of DARKNESS FALLS, the second Immortal Beloved novel, Nastasya has fought back against the dark immortals with her own brand of magick... but can she fight against true love? In the exhilarating finale to the Immortal Beloved trilogy, Nastasya ends a 450-year-old feud and learns what 'eternally yours' really means.'


I am a huge fan of this series. You can find my review of Eternally Yours HERE. If you haven't started the series yet, you're in for a real treat. You should start by reading my review of the first book in the series.

THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. THE WINNERS HAVE BEEN EMAILED.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Review: The Disappeared


Author: C J Harper

Release date: 31st January 2013
Genre: Dystopia / Sci-Fi Thriller
Target audience: YA
UK Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 978-0-85707-689-4

Review:

The Disappeared is a futuristic page-turner. It’s full of high-octane action, brutality and suspense.

Jackson is a brainer and is studying to join the Leadership and fulfil his natural role in society. Like every student he took a Potential Test as a young child and was identified as a student fit for the Learning Community. But the perfect world (where everyone has a special role in society) which Jackson believes in is ripped away from him when he is asked to do a task for his Facilitator. Along with best friend Wilson, he takes a package to the darker part of town. There he and Wilson are set upon by two violent men. Jackson’s life rapidly slips away from him as when he returns to the Learning Community, they have erased all knowledge of him. Jackson is taken by the police to the Academy. To the outside community, the Academy is a school to prepare the less intellectual children for factory life. But Jackson soon finds out that the school is less about education and more about control and punishment. His new home is a prison.


I found this book so easy to read. Every chapter was a great length and ended with a twist, revelation or cliff-hanger. The pace of the novel was so well structured that I just couldn’t stop reading on. I felt that I was racing through the story.


As you’d expect of the dystopian genre, the young people are the mercy of the government officials, their teachers – the Enforcers and the system created to keep them down-trodden. The students at the Academies are known as Specials and they have their own hierarchy. Every week there are organised fights where even the youngest pupils compete for a rank. There is violence and brutality in this book. There is murder and abuse. It is a chilling portrayal of a future where an underclass is treated like caged animals.


One of the ways the young people are controlled is the threat of the Wilderness. They are told scary stories of the Wilderness as children and the worst offenders are banished from the Academy and never return from their exile in the Wilderness. The story is not all darkness though. There is hope in the friendships that Jackson makes in the Academy and the students’ desire to learn and be more than the animals they are treated like.


If I’m honest I would have preferred more thriller elements to the novel than dystopian ones. But that is just my personal taste. I wanted there to be something more to the title really: “the disappeared”. I wanted a juicier reason for them being erased. But don’t let that dissuade you from reading this book. It is a gripping and tautly written debut.

Recommended for fans of:
  •             Uglies by Scott Westerfeld

Source: Review copy from Simon and Schuster. Thank you.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Review: Eternally Yours


Author: Cate Tiernan

Release date: Hardback 17th January 2013
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Target audience: YA / Adult Crossover
UK Publisher: Hodder
ISBN: 978-4-444-70703-8

Review:


Eternally Yours is the third and final novel in the Immortal Beloved series. You can read a review of Book 1 here and the Book 2 Darkness Falls here. If you haven’t read the earlier books, don’t read this review. I don’t go into as much detail of plot and themes. Go and read the review of Book 1 instead. It really is a brilliant, captivating series.


The end of Darkness Falls was full of death and drama and Eternally Yours picks up the story two months on. Nastasya is back at River’s End and trying to put the darkness behind her but there are questions which remain unanswered. Who is the master? What does he want with her? But of course the most important question is can Nastasya learn from her mistakes? Can she change?


As the story unfolds, immortals are brutally murdered and Nastasya with her vast untrained powers are considered a threat to the safety of the immortals in rehab at River’s Edge. River trusts in Nastasya but she finds it hard to believe in herself. There is a traitor among the group. Will they discover the identity in time?


I was hooked from the very first page and as I have come to expect with this series, enthralled by Nastasya and her battle to conquer her 450 year old weaknesses. It is her direct, sarcastic and insightful narrative that makes these books so readable and addictive. I love that this is a study in character and what it takes to achieve positive, kind things in life. I also adore the love story element. Reyn, Butcher of the North, gorgeous farm-esque guy is one of the many emotional challenges which Nastasya must face. In this book we get to see him riding horses and wielding a sword. Could it be any more romantic? Nastasya would tell you to get a grip. It isn’t soppy. It’s risky and difficult. (As every good love story should be.)


If this was a plot driven book, I would have one complaint. The villain felt a little bit like it came in at the very end. He was tied to Nastasya and her first life and there were hints woven through the story but I sort of felt like it wasn’t quite “solid enough” for a plot driven book. But luckily this really isn’t, it’s all about character and in that sense the ending was entirely perfect and satisfying.


I am so sad that this series has come to an end. I’ve come to associate this series with cold winter nights and a little bit of salvation. I’m going to miss it hugely but I can’t wait to see what Cate Tiernan writes next.


Source: Review copy sent from the publisher. Thank you.

BLOG TOUR coming soon:


Thursday, 10 January 2013

Review: Touch of Power


Author: Maria V. Snyder

Release date: Paperback 6th April 2012
Genre: Fantasy
Target audience: YA / Adult crossover
UK Publisher: Mira
ISBN: 978-1-848-45092-9


Review:


Touch of Power is the first novel in Maria V. Snyder's Avry of Kazan series. It’s a story of persecution, healing magic and survival in the wild landscape of the Fifteen Realms.


Avry of Kazan has been on the run for the last three years. Moving from town to town and hiding from the authorities who persecute her for her healing magic. All Healers are being eliminated because the people believe they started the plague. Avry was ordered not to heal anyone who contracted the plague by the Healer’s Guild. Living isolated from everyone Avry keeps to herself but there is only so long she can stay in a place before her healing instincts take over and she cures a child of a fatal illness. Despite the kindness she shows the local people, they always betray her to the authorities. Usually she slips away before they have a chance to catch her but at the beginning of Touch of Power, she is caught, imprisoned and sentenced to death. Waiting in her cell for her execution, she is surprised by an intimidating man who wishes to help her evade the authorities in exchange for the healing of his friend. It should be simple but the sick man’s identity complicated everything for her.


This is such an exciting and page-turning story. Avry is a stubborn and caring character who endures so much and yet keeps giving. There was a complicated attraction between Avry and Kerrick. I did want them to be together but at the same time I felt uncomfortable about the incident where he struck her. Avry was very strong in her hatred of him and made it clear that violence was unacceptable and not a method of power that would ever weaken her resolve. I also like that Snyder explored other forms of manipulation through the characters of Jael and Tohon.


The friendship between Avry, Belen and Flea was heart-warming and it added humour to the darker moments of the story. I love the way Avry viewed the dynamic between the group. They sort of reminded me of Robin Hood and his Merry Men. My favourite aspect of the story was the forest magic and the lilies. I loved how the author gave the fantasy her own fresh twist.


At the end of Touch of Power there were tears in my eyes. I felt so invested in the story and now I can’t wait to read the next book in the series Scent of Magic. Any book that has you emotionally involved and captivated by where it will go next has to be a must-read. Fantastic fantasy!


Source: Christmas gift

Recommended for fans of:

Monday, 7 January 2013

Night School: Legacy Blog Tour

Today's the day the blog tour stops at The Bookette.

Here is the Night School Legacy member card for...

Silvain Cassel


Don't miss the all important keyword for the competition. 

Keep collecting from all the blogs on the tour and then head here to enter the competition:
http://www.cjdaugherty.com/congratulations/ 

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Book gifts for Christmas

Yay!


I'm so excited that I got these books for Christmas. I've already read Touch of Power by Maria V Snyder. It was fantastic. I love fantasy novels so much. I had to order the next one in the series as soon as I finished it.


A Face Like Glass by Francis Hardinge - this sounds amazingly imaginative.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman - I saw so many glowing reviews of this book so I hope I enjoy it as much as everyone else.

The Year of the Gadfly by Jennifer Miller - I found out about this book in a less than conventional way. The author contacted me via Goodreads as I'd read other Prep school novels. I asked for it for Christmas as it was an import from the USA. I'm even more excited to read it since it was picked as a Kirkus Top 100 of 2012.

Heart of the Mirage by Glenda Larke - This one was a last minute pick recommended by an Amazon algorithm  based on the other titles I'd read. I thought it sounded like an interesting fantasy novel.

Which book was in your stocking that you couldn't wait to read?

(Links go to Goodreads)

Thursday, 3 January 2013

The Bookette's Guide to... Popular Books This Term

Technically this post should say last term as these are for September - December but the end of 2012 was so busy for me that I had to pretty much abandon the blog.

Here are the fiction books that topped the charts:

#1 being the most popular book in my school library since September 2012


Boys 8 - 12

  1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (the whole series... no surprise there)
  2. Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce (whole series)
  3. Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey (whole series)
  4. Beast Quest by Adam Blade (the whole series)
  5. The Brilliant World of Tom Gates by Liz Pichon (the whole series)
  6. Evil Star by Anthony Horowitz
  7. Gangsta Granny by David Walliams
  8. Cycling for Gold by Owen Slot
  9. World of Norm: May Contain Nuts by Jonathan Meres
  10. Jack Splat: Dog's Dinner by Lou Kuenzler


Girls 8 - 12
  1. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (the whole series... they are addicted!)
  2. My Sister's a Vampire (the whole series) by Sienna Mercer
  3. Ottoline by Chris Riddell (the whole series)
  4. Gym Stars by Jane Lawes (the whole series)
  5. Ratburger by David Walliams
  6. Shrinking Violet by Lou Kuenzler
  7. Stunt Bunny: Medal Mayhem by Tamsyn Murray
  8. Gangsta Granny by David Walliams
  9. Horrid Henry by Francesca Simon (the whole series)
  10. The Longest Whale Song by Jacqueline Wilson

Non-fiction which has been popular with boys: spies, cricket, magic tricks

Non-fiction which has been popular with girls: horses, animals

I'm looking forward to finding out what books the children got for Christmas. More on what I got soon!

Coming soon...



Happy New Year Everyone!


I have something very cool to tell you about which will be coming to The Bookette on 7th January 2013...

The Night School: Legacy Blog Tour


It involves a really cool competition. Here are rules:


Do you have what it takes to face the Night School challenge?

To celebrate the publication of CJ Daugherty’s new book Legacy, she is offering fans of Night School the chance to join Allie and her friends in becoming members of the secret student group Night School. In order to prove you’ve got what it takes to join the highly competitive Night School you will have to distinguish the 14 skills every Night School member should have which will be hidden across the 14 blogs taking part in the tour.

Everyone who successfully completes the challenge will become a Night School member for life and will receive the Night School membership charter and Night School members’ badge as proof of membership, but, because intelligence and speed are two of the most important Night School skills, we will be rewarding those of you who are able to collect and enter the 14 skills in the fastest time. The first ten entrants to correctly enter the 14 skills will win an exclusive members only goodie bag, including: personalised copies of both Legacy and Night School as well as a Night School members material badge which can be sewn onto a book bag or school blazer and a place on an exclusive Google Hangouts chat with CJ Daugherty herself!

Night School Challenge Rules:

1. Visit 14 book blogs between 3rd – 10th January


These are the links:

      Thurs 3rd – Fluttering Butterflies

Thurs 3rd – I Want to Read That

Fri 4th – Teen Librarian

Fri 4th – Mostly Ready YA

Sat 5th – District YA

Sun 6th - So Many Books, So Little Time 

Mon 7th – The Bookette (HERE!)

Mon 7th - Endlessly Bookish

Tues 8th – Feeling Fictional

Tues 8th - Bookaholics Book Club

Weds 9th – PewterWolf

Weds 9th -Book Passion for Life

Thurs 10th – Serendipity Reviews

Thurs 10th – Once upon a Bookcase

2.Locate and collect 14 Night School Skill words
3.Return to the Night School Members page to enter your collected skills by 13th January
4.The entry form will be live from January 10th and will close at mid night on January 13th
5. If you successfully complete the challenge you will become a Night School member for life – when this happens you will receive a membership charter and Night School members badge to download
6.The first ten people to receive Night School membership will be rewarded for their speed with an exclusive Night School goodie bag and a place on a Google hangouts chat with CJ Daugherty!

For more information, visit the members’ page on CJ Daugherty’s website here

And here is the book trailer so you can have a little taster of what to expect in Night School: Legacy.



Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Reading Resources

Follow these links to other reading related websites


The Reading Agency - A UK charity which runs creative programmes which help people feel inspired to read

The Reading Zone - A UK website which offers support for schools, public librarians, children - lots of great competitions, extracts etc

Book Trust - An independent UK reading and writing charity - I love their Everybody Writes resources

Love Reading 4 Kids - The ultimate UK online bookshop - I love this site. It gives great lists of children's fiction but it also lets you download sample extracts if you sign up. I use it all the time at work.

World Book Day - This website is great for resources for celebrating in March


Goodreads - Catalogue your books and connect with like-minded readers
Reading is Fundamental.org (Thank you to Eve for this suggestion - an organisation working to create a literate America)


Story Links on FreeBookNotes.com - (Thank you to Eve again for this suggestion - there are some really useful links on here including to online audio books).

UK Authors

Follow these links to authors' blogs and websites 

Dan Abnett
Stephanie Burgis
Cat Clarke
Lucy Coats
Dave Cousins
Keren David
Teresa Flavin
Julia Golding
Miriam Halahmy
MG Harris
Michaela Haze
Mary Hoffman
Katherine Langrish
Tom Palmer
Helen Pielichaty
Luisa Plaja
Celia Rees
Katherine Roberts
Marcus Sedgwick

Follow these links to group author blogs

An Awfully Big Blog Adventure featuring Gillian Philip, Nicola Morgan, Michelle Lovric and many more wonderfully talented writers
Trapped by Monsters featuring Andy Briggs, Sam Enthoven, Barnaby Richards, Gillian Philip and many more
Crime Central featuring writers of cracking crime novels including Linda Strachan, Catherine MacPhail, Gillian Philip, Keren David, Anne Cassidy and more besides

NB: If you are a UK publisher or author and would like to be added to this list, please send an email to thebookette@gmail.co.uk or tweet me @the_bookette. 

UK Publishers

Follow these links to some of the top children's publishers in the UK


Abrams Books
Bloomsbury Children's Books
Catnip Publishing
Chicken House Publishing
Egmont Books
Frances Lincoln
HarperCollins Children's Books
Headline Publishing
Hodder and Stoughton
Little Brown
Orchard Books
Orion Children's Books
Oxford University Press
Pan Macmillan Children's Books
Penguin Books
Piccadilly Press
Quercus Books
Random House Children's Books
Scholastic Children's Books
Simon and Schuster
Strident Publishing
Tamarind Books
Templar Publishing
Usborne Books
Walker Books